Austin Bills? Not So Fast

There are some hurdles to overcome for the Bills franchise to relocate.

The National Football League’s Buffalo Bills’ ownership apparently thinks it has a city that might be able to provide some leverage in negotiations with Erie County and New York State in the stadium game. Austin, Texas. Austin is the Texas state capitol, it has a growing tech industry and is in a football crazy state. It also has a professional football operation in town called the University of Texas, an outfit that comes complete with its own cable TV network. There would be the question of whether Jerry Jones and his Dallas Cowboys franchise and the Houston Texans franchise would want another team in Texas in the Austin-San Antonio region. According to the Buffalo News, Pegula Sports and Entertainment is seeking a $1.5 billion new stadium in Orchard Park and also money for renovations to the Buffalo arena which houses the Pegula’s National Hockey League’s Sabres franchise. A spokesperson for the Bills and Sabres business entity denied that the Pegula’s were seeking more than a billion dollars in a public subsidy.

In 2017, Nevada lured the NFL’s Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to Las Vegas with an offer of a stadium that would be partially funded by a Clark County and Nevada subsidy of about three quarters of a billion dollars. That was the highest amount of taxpayers funding for a stadium in American history. Nevada and Clark County have had problems paying down the stadium’s debt. Raiders’ ownership did put up some money for the Las Vegas stadium construction. The Bills’ stadium opened in 1973. In 1984, there was a fix up. In 1998, there was a major facelift. In 2012, New York State put up money as part of a deal spending $130 million to fix up the stadium in exchange for extending the team’s lease. That lease is done in 2023.

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